[Alliance] Chapter Four: Session Two

Appearing Characters: Anice Erona, Aramar Thorne, Dabu, Deremos, Elissa Cross, Gotri, Kilnar Goldensword, Makasa Flintwill, Ox, Rai, Remnii, Riff, Samaara, Seria, Tae'shara Sunwatcher, Telagos, Tol'vas Moonshadow, Thrud, Trenton Lighthammer, Uther Menethil, Velameestra Windrunner, Zug

May 22nd

The group gathers in the Reliquary’s base of operations and are given a room for meeting purposes.

Remnii says: I do not believe this will be long… but does everyone feel rejuvenated? Will anyone need more time.
Tol'vas Moonshadow says: No I’m ready to move on, actually.
Uther Menethil says: Don’t see any reason to delay our departure.
Tol'vas Moonshadow says: There are no trees here, I don’t like it.
Remnii says: I did have one small thing to inform everyone. Actually two things. At least make a note of. I have no leads on this situation. What happened at the shoreline, at the Wavestrider

Remnii explains the situation at the Wavestrider, including the name of the “Hidden” and the fact there were arakkoa there and fel magics at work.

Remnii says: This will intertwine with you it seems, Aramar, whether you like it or not, and thus us. But I believe everyone should be brought up to speed. Am I missing anything, Nahlen’do?
Tol'vas Moonshadow says: No, I think you covered everything on that front. I suppose… what are we going to be going for first?
Remnii says: That will actually get to my second point. Are there any questions?
Velameestra Windrunner says: That at least clarifies the assassination attempt.
Samaara says: I am concerned. They saw us, specifically Remnii. If these people work for the Burning Legion. If knowledge of your whereabouts makes its way to the wrong people, they could pursue us. It seems curious they were chasing you directly.
Remnii says: I suppose we can hope in that sense. But, they weren’t talking about me, though. They were talking about how Thorne would not escape. Your father’s last name?
Aramar Thorne says: Yes, and mine. I don’t know why they would be looking for me.
Remnii says: They were on your father’s ship. There is some kind of legacy there. I can only imagine it may be something to do with that. We don’t have the answers. But we will carry on. Second off, you were asking what we were doing first, and I believe we should find Jarod Shadowsong. He is now expecting us.

Tol’vas looks at Remnii expectantly.

Remnii says: Thanks to Seria’s scrying, I was able to contact him via dream. I wanted to make a good first impression given the state of our people’s. In this moment, he’s issued a challenge. If we can find him, he will help us in what way he can. He claims he can only help a little bit, but he seems to be a humble man.
Tol'vas Moonshadow says: We have to hunt him down now? Alright. Sounds like fun.
Remnii says: There was a sparkle of excitement. He seemed he was looking forward to it. He claimed if we could not find him we would not have any chance of dealing with the kaldorei. But I have full faith considering everything we have been through. But I do not believe it would be wise to contact him again via dream. I imagine he will avoid it if possible. But he knows we’re coming. There was no time limit, but it is the clearest lead.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Which, he was north, right? It was stated he appeared to be in Mulgore, I believe?
Tol'vas Moonshadow says: There is a tauren in town. We could ask him.
Remnii says: Are those the bovine people?
Tol'vas Moonshadow says: Oh, yes. The tauren. They populate the grasslands up north. They are druidic-ish people, though they venerate different things than the kaldorei.
Elissa Cross says: Well, I guess our best bet is to make our way there, then, right? Should we talk to that guy?
Tol'vas Moonshadow says: He could at least give us a general overview of the state of things.
Remnii says: There is no harm in trying.
Tol'vas Moonshadow says: Another thought, actually. We should also try to seek out Cenarius. If we can get him to listen to us, there’s few kaldorei that wouldn’t.
Velameestra Windrunner says: And who is Cenarius?
Tol'vas Moonshadow says: Right. Sorry. I’m not used to people not knowing who he is.

He gives a general overview of the demigod. He’s never met Cenarius personally, though he saw him during the War of the Ancients. He is one of the most powerful ancients in the kaldorei pantheon, and supposedly he is the child of Elune and Malorne. He also gifted Malfurion with the teachings of druidism, and he was the source of that. However, he has no idea where Cenarius could be found. As the Lord of the Forests, he takes home in all of the forest, but a potential place to start would be the Moonglade. If he wasn’t there, perhaps someone there would know where he was. However, that would be dangerous territory.

Elissa Cross says: So I guess we can keep our eyes out for any giant stag demigods?
Velameestra Windrunner says: And also, if his domain is the forest, we have an entire desert to get through first.
Samaara says: Is there anything else we need to prepare for, or are we just going to head north to find information on this Jarrod? Those who can speak with this tauren can do so, but the rest of us should get rest, and we can share what we learned in the morning.
Remnii says: Sounds like a plan to me.

There is a soft knock on the door.

Kilnar Goldensword says: Pardon me dears, one small intrusion.

She enters.

Kilnar Goldensword says: Seems you have a guest. A striking one at that. Did either of you befriend a giant woman previously?
Uther Menethil says: In a manner of speaking, yes.
Kilnar Goldensword says: Would you be opposed to me letting her in?
Uther Menethil says: Not at all, I expected it.
Kilnar Goldensword says: Very well. I will see you off before you leave. I have some things to attend to.

She leaves, and a few moments later Thrud enters, ducking into the doorway. She nearly strikes her head on one of the lights and she raises a brow, glancing at the light, before nodding to the group.

Thrud says: Pardon, everyone. But it is nearly time for me to hit the road, and I wished to speak with you of important matters before that.

She looks to Uther.

Thrud says: These are your warband? You trust them?
Uther Menethil says: With my life.
Thrud says: Very well. As some here may know, my name is Thrud. Upon my honorable defeat in the Thunderdrome, I spoke briefly to Uther, Seria, and Riff. I have a boon I would beg of you. I have heard you intend to depart, and I would ask you to meet me in a place in the Barrens. A land to the north beyond the Thousand Needles. I understand what I ask relies on no small amount of faith, as I cannot tell you what I need your help with, not here, but once you arrive I can explain everything. I need your might, and if the rest of you can muster half as much strength as the Death Adders, then you may be exactly what I need to save my father. There is a place called the Shrine of Dormant Flame in the Valley of Trials in the Southfury Highlands. There is a cairnstone there with ancient runes..

She reaches into a large pouch and withdraws a fist-sized coal that seems to glow within with a rune on it.

Thrud says: It is there that I will summon forth two powerful elementals we must slay. They have powerful relics I need. Without them, I have no hope of accomplishing my goals if I must prove myself, and I will need your might and skill as warriors to best these two monsters.

She stashes the rune away again.

Thrud says: I’m sorry I cannot explain more, but I will. Once you arrive. Once I know for certain I can trust you to help me.
Uther Menethil says: I understand. I am intimately familiar with what it is to be consumed with a desire to save one’s father.
Thrud says: I can offer little when it comes to monetary recompense or anything, but I can offer both my gratitude and my strength, should you have need of it in the future. If your journey takes you to the Southfury Headland, I will be waiting for you.
Uther Menethil says: We’ll do everything we can.
Thrud says: I thank you. All of you. What we may set out to accomplish together… it might be just what we need to save more than just my father, but this world.

Remnii’s eyebrows raise.

Thrud says: But the road calls. There are things I must accomplish before I reach the shrine. Until we meet again Death Adders and companions. Good travels. May the gods watch over you.

Thrud nods and then turns to duck back through the doors. She mutters something in a language no one understands, but Riff snickers.

Uther raises an eyebrow.

Vel gets a sense that the language may have been similar to what she was interfacing with in the Tower of Ilgalar.

Riff says: Oh, nothing. She was just complaining about the door.
Remnii says: I understand.

Vel is able to piece together a couple things as she had seen a similar giant woman speaking with Northrend, and she also recalled hearing of the ancient tomb Gil had unearthed when he was traveling with Northrend. She gets the sense that perhaps Thrud may be one of those peoples--some sort of ancient giant race.

Everyone starts to disperse, and Vel requests Uther and Remnii to keep their dreams open as she wishes to speak to them later, and then grabs Seria as she is also heading off.

Vel explained that she’s familiar with magic that is capable of changing someone’s form permanently, and she had noted that Seria had expressed dissatisfaction with her status as a half-troll and a desire to be a full troll instead. Given Gadgetzan was somewhere she could access the regents easily, Vel stated she wished to ask if that was something Seria would want to pursue so that the regents could be purchased before they departed.

Seria was stunned by the topic, and stated that there was no need for Vel to waste her time on such a thing.

To which Vel responded that allies were supposed to aid each other, and that if such magics were beyond what Seria herself could do, she was willing to research the spell needed.

After another bead of silence, Seria expressed that though she had her misgivings about what she was, she felt her mother would come back to haunt her if she changed--and she didn’t have time to learn to walk on troll feet.

There was another awkward pause between the pair before Vel opted to take her leave.

Meanwhile, Tol’vas. Elissa, and Remnii went to go hunt down the white tauren they had seen around Gadgetzan. They see him near a forge, hammering away at the anvil with an elf also working nearby.

Remnii says: Well, here goes nothing.

They approach the forge, and the tauren looks up.

White Tauren says: Stay back unless you’re trying to get yourself burned.
Remnii says: When you have time, I was wondering… I have a few questions about Mulgore as we are headed north.

The tauren chuffs.

White Tauren says: Haven’t been back there in a long time. Ain’t exactly a tour guide.
Remnii says: I can imagine as much.

She smiles pleasantly.

Remnii says: Well, I have been there never! So anything would be helpful. If I could borrow your time for a moment, I could make it worth your while.

The tauren stops with a final pound and wipes the sweat from his brow as he looks over to the elf.

White Tauren says: Trent! Taking my supper
Trenton Lighthammer says: Of course, big man! Take all the time you need!

The tauren quenches the metal in a bucket of water and lumbers over to Remnii and her small group, and then moves an anvil over to sit on it. He gulps down a mug of water and then puts his hands on his knees.

White Tauren says: So what. You’re heading to Mulgore?
Remnii says: Mostly, I was wondering what we should look out for it. We are going in blind. Any information, even half a century old, would be helpful.
White Tauren says: Well, when you see green, and not tall, you’re in the right place. Move through the pass in the mountains beyond the Salt Flats. It’s called the Thousand Needles. Navigate the canyon and climb its lip, and you’re reach the place called the Barrens. Eventually, you’ll find a break in the mounts that surround the lands, follow that and the grass will turn lush and green, and that’s when you’re home. If the place hasn’t burned down. The centaur have been trying to push deeper in. I left long before we pushed them out of Mulgore. I assume they have either reclaimed it or died trying.
Tol'vas Moonshadow says: What’s a centaur?
White Tauren says: A centaur. Horse men. Have you… you are quite an interesting kaldorei to have not seen the maurading clans. Have you not been to the Barrens, boy?
Tol'vas Moonshadow says: Not for a few thousands years.

The tauren chuffs.

White Tauren says: They have the musculature of a pink-skin. A man. But the legs and body of one of the great horses. Part of the reason I came here is that I have no stomach in fighting. I lack the capabilities to grasp the powers I should have been able to. The anvil I can grasp. Avoid them and the quillboars, and avoid dehydration, and you’ll find it soon enough.
Remnii says: For what it’s worth, there is magic of its own in the forge.

The tauren nods and crosses his arms.

White Tauren says: Forgive me, you don’t look like one you’d find in a place like this.
Remnii says: I’ve been in many places. I have friends who are blacksmiths, and I am a jewelcrafter.
White Tauren says: I see. I’ve seen many strange things. If you want more up to date guidance, if you find a tauren camp, they may be amenable. Though I would be wary of the Grimtotem. They are more wary than outsiders than most, if they too haven’t gotten themselves trampled under hoof by now.
Tol'vas Moonshadow says: Can you tell us what their heraldry is?
White Tauren says: Was never very good at totemic heraldry, and it’s been a very long time since I carried one myself. Unfortunately, you’ll need to figure that out on your own. But.

He pats his legs.

White Tauren says: I am on my supper and I need to eat, anything else I can help with?
Tol'vas Moonshadow says: You’ve been very helpful.
Remnii says: Agreed! Let me buy you dinner! I told you I would make it worth your while, and even this has been very helpful.

The tauren snorts.

White Tauren says: I would never allow anyone to say that Ox didn’t accept the kindness of strangers. If you’re willing.

He stands up.

Ox says: I know a good place that serves fantastic breakfast food. If you have not tried their flapjacks, I would recommend it.
Remnii says: A Jack is a human name. How does it flap?
Ox says: A strange one. Come, it’s better if you see it, or even better, if you taste it.

When they arrive at the diner in question, Remnii recognizes flapjacks as pancakes, and Ox looks at her.

Ox says: Flapjacks and pancakes are two entirely different things.

Vel is able to find Anice at the Reliquary headquarters, and as she enters, she finds the mage in the process of educating the two skarvyn that were frequently in her company. At present, they were sitting at a table with blocks in various shapes and seemed to have been tasked with fitting them in the proper boxes. The larger one, Dabu, seemed to be having more trouble with the activity than his smaller comrade, Zug, who has seemingly mastered the skill.

Anice Erona says: Very good, Zug. Very very good. Oh.

She stops as she notices Vel.

Anice Erona says: Velameestra! Come in. Please.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Magistrix Erona. I was hoping I could find you before I left.
Anice Erona says: Well you found me! What can I do for you?
Velameestra Windrunner says: It was… more what I could do for you, actually. Or rather your companions. I noticed the sun seemed… harsh for them.
Anice Erona says: Yes. It seems they aren’t exactly acclimated to sunlight. They are much more comfortable indoors.

She gestures absently to the heavily shaded windows in the room.

Velameestra Windrunner says: I managed to develop a spell in anticipation of our travels through the desert. I thought it would be helpful. It dulls some of the effects.
Anice Erona says: Is that so?
Velameestra Windrunner says: Which… if they’re receptive…

Her eyes shift over to Zug and Dabu and she switches to draconic.

Velameestra Windrunner says [draconic]: Zug. Dabu. Hello.

Both of the skarvyn look up at her. Zug waves.

Dabu says [draconic]: H-hello.

Vel offers a small smile.

Velameestra Windrunner says [draconic]: My name is Velameestra. I’m a mage, like the magistrix. I wanted to offer you something, if you want it. A gift.

Dabu looks at Vel and then over to Anice, who had been listening to the conversation. She nods, giving him a quiet assurance.

Dabu says [draconic]: O-okay.
Zug says [draconic]: Okay. Will it hurt?
Velameestra Windrunner says [draconic]: No. It won’t hurt.
Zug says [draconic]: Okay.

Vel straightens slightly as she starts to work the incantation of the magic, the arcane energy illuminating the tattoos on her arm. As she does, the atmosphere in the room almost seems to darken faintly, as if a faint shadow had been drawn into it and localized on the pair of skarvyn in front of her.

Anice cups her chin in her hand.

Anice Erona says: Fascinating. I suppose we can try it out. Dabu. Zug.

She walks over to one of the curtains and then also shifts to draconic, though her speech in the language is a bit more stiff, as if it was fairly recently learned. The pair of skarvyn look at her.

Anice Erona says [draconic]: I’m going to draw back the curtain now, alright?

The pair continues to look at her, clearly confused as to why she would do such a thing. However, they nod, and Anice draws the curtain back. Immediately the pair of them instinctively cover their eyes, but then they blink.

Anice Erona says [draconic]: How is it?

The skarvyn blink again, and both stand up and run to the window to look out. They blink again and look at each other, and then back to Vel.

Zug says [draconic]: The sun’s not as bright! It’s not as bright!

Dabu claps his large draconic hands together and looks at Anice.

Dabu says [draconic]: Mistress! May we go out to play?
Anice Erona says [draconic]: I suppose it is that time, isn’t it?

She looks at Vel, a mixture of shock, appreciation, and astonishment on her face.

Anice Erona says: That’s… fascinating, Velameestra. I’m impressed you were able to whip something like this up so quickly.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Several minds put together. I brought along the notes, if you wanted them. I thought they would be useful.
Anice Erona says: I would! Yes! I would love to be able to give them this gift whenever we need to go out. The sun here is especially harsh. Please, thank you.

Vel fishes in her bag and produces the pristinely scribed notes, which Anice takes.

Anice Erona says: I should go with them to ensure they don’t get into trouble.

The two skarvyn had started to head for the door, but Dabu stops and approaches Vel and pulls her into a huge.

Velameestra Windrunner says: O-oh.

Vel pats his chest awkwardly as Dabu hugs her, the skarvyn much bigger and broader than herself.

Dabu says [draconic]: Thank you, kind lady.
Velameestra Windrunner says [draconic]: You’re welcome, Dabu.

Zug inches a bit closer as Dabu releases the elf, his eyes looking at the ground as he speaks in broken common.

Zug says: Th-th-thank you.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Of course, Zug. Go enjoy it.

The skarvyn gets a small smile, looking up at Vel, before he and Dabu scamper out through the door. Anice thanks her once more as well.

Anice Erona says: Safe travels. I don’t think I’ll see you again before you leave, but take care of yourself, alright?
Velameestra Windrunner says: It’s appreciated.

Anice smiles and then hurried off to supervise the two skarvyn.

Vel remains in the room for a moment, releasing a breath as she fixes her coat and recomposes herself, before heading out herself to rest before the start of their journey that night.

But there was one last thing to do, and as she settled into the room that had been offered her during her stay in Gadgetzan, she cast dream in order to reach out to Remnii and Uther for the much heavier conversation that she had asked them to leave their dreams open for.

As the dream materializes, she steps into the increasingly familiar, snowy landscape that she had started to use as her dreamscape. The trees stood barren and peaceful around the open grove, the lights of the mana wyrms twisting around their trunks and through their branches clearly visible in the dim light cast by the aurora borealis overhead. It's not cold, however. It's surprisingly temperate and her feet do not sink into the snow.

She had created a bench that seemed to have been molded from the drunk of a tree, which was where she was sitting as Uther and Remnii materialized in the dream after they had fallen asleep.

Velameestra Windrunner says: Excellent. It worked as I was hoping it would.

She stands up from the bench.

Velameestra Windrunner says: I will endeavor to not take overly long. I just thought it was worthwhile for me to inform you of what I… found up north. At least, in a more secure location.
Remnii says: Of course.
Velameestra Windrunner says: For the sake of transparency, anyway.
Uther Menethil says: Always.

Remnii smiles gently and she and Uther sit on the winding bench.

Velameestra Windrunner says: Which, ah… the undeath was confirmed. That was a…

The elf struggles over her words for a moment.

Velameestra Windrunner says: I suppose the best place to start… Uther. You’ve heard the stories of vampyrs, correct?
Uther Menethil says: Fairytales, I assumed. Ones to frighten me into being a good little boy for fear of being spirited away in the night.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Yes. And Remnii, do the draenei have any tales of undead that feed on the living?
Remnii says: I have seen plant-like zombies that do that. Or heard of them, anyway. Or undead in general, but none of these… vampyrs?
Velameestra Windrunner says: They have been described as undead that fed on the blood of the living. Fairytales, yes, but they have become more real than that, recently. That was what a lot of my aid and research was focused on up north. I was working with several of them. I am pleased to state that everyone still seems to be themselves. It’s not a mindless existence like that of more conventional undead. There are… differences, but their core still seems to be them. I was taken care of rather well. And I… also met Lana’thel.

Remnii’s gentle smile instantly vanishes, and Uther’s brow furrows.

Velameestra Windrunner says: I have concerns.
Remnii says: As you should.
Velameestra Windrunner says: I can understand why Frostmourne was something you spoke so fervently against. It’s powerful, to put it lightly.
Remnii says: You should have seen where it was made, Vel.
Uther Menethil says: Frostmourne. What is it, exactly?
Velameestra Windrunner says: It’s a sword. One that Lana’thel is now wielding.
Remnii says: It was made by some of the most powerful and secretive types of demons in the Burning Legion, deep in the heart of Draenor. It has the capacity to raise the dead, to suck souls from the weak and living. I saw it kill orcish children just by being in their proximity. And I believe it is now plaguing your people as well.
Uther Menethil says: Just by being near them?

Remnii nods, direly serious.

Remnii says: It was made to outclass some of the most powerful weapons the Legion has ever wielded.
Uther Menethil says: This is unwelcome news.
Remnii says: Hence why I was trying to warn against it all the way back at Last Crossing.

As Remnii is speaking, Vel makes a gesture with her hand, and a replica of Frostmourne appears in the dreamscape, hovering before the three of them. Remnii frowns and nods at the image.

Velameestra Windrunner says: I don’t know the full relationship that the entirety of my people in Northrend have with Frostmourne, for the time being. I did speak with Lana’thel briefly, though she didn’t know who I was. But I will say she still has her conviction and her dedication and care for her people. That much was clear.

Remnii frowns again in consideration.

Remnii says: I… the last wielder of Frostmourne before her, he too is a good person. That said, after some time, I do believe that sword would have overpowered him if it had stayed in his hands.
Uther Menethil says: Overpowered him? Is this sword… well, I suppose alive isn’t the appropriate word. But does it have will of its own?
Remnii says: I dared not touch it myself overlong. I hardly touched it, and it was enough for me to feel how evil the sword was. I cannot stress to you enough, the damage that Frostmourne will do.
Uther Menethil says: You were familiar with its previous wielder?
Remnii says: Quite.
Uther Menethil says: It began to take over… like it… as if he was becoming someone else?
Remnii says: I did not get to spend much time with Frostmourne. I was detained with the eredar soon after Frostmourne was delivered to him, but I know it took of him a price. Blood and soul. His cousin, a strong orc by reputation, one of good standing, and someone you would have liked Uther, as hard as that can be to believe in the… realm of transparency.

She looks back at Vel.

Remnii says: He was ripped from the world. I cannot confirm it, but there is a likely possibility that his soul was consumed by that sword. A deep possibility.

Uther also looks at Vel.

Uther Menethil says: My assumption is that the existence of this weapon is a threat that cannot be overstated.

Remnii is nodding as Uther speaks.

Velameestra Windrunner says: It is, but it is currently being wielded by a woman who is a hero to my people. Nevertheless, there are others who are cautious about the current situation. The instance I interacted with her during was a resurrection. One of her blood knights had fallen, and we were able to resurrect him despite his prior state of undeath. She was one of the ones that aided. It’s a situation I’m intending on monitoring in what ways I can. When I can. Which brings me to the… other thing I wanted to inform you of. Again, this for transparency, not a request for permission. But I feel it would be a valuable progression if I were to become what they are. I’ve already made arrangements, I just need to attend to some personal preparations before I temporarily return north. But that’s my intent in the near future.

Uther opens his mouth, then closes it, and lowers his eyes with a slight shake of his head.

Uther Menethil says: I was about to ask if you had truly considered what this might cost you, but that’s a silly question. Of course you have.
Velameestra Windrunner says: My aunt is directly involved. Ultimately, the advantages of me being able to explore their new existence directly may be invaluable. They’re not monsters, and I recognize that people are not going to share that realization once awareness of their present state becomes commonplace. The sooner I can set groundwork, the better… a vampyr aiding in the recovery of the Guardian, dealings with the draenei, and anything else we were able to accomplish… it could speak volumes.
Uther Menethil says: As usual, you’re right.

Remnii looks concerned, but pensive.

Remnii says: I cannot pretend I have not seen a people divided before by war or circumstance… I have concerns of the origin of this offshoot of your people, but I cannot deny conviction. I have no right or reason to to stop you in such a place. But, thank you for telling us.

Vel offers a faint, but grateful smile.

Velameestra Windrunner says: I also informed Elissa. For the time being, only you three know. Of this decision or of anything else I’ve told you. I would prefer that remains the case. For now.
Uther Menethil says: We’ll keep it that way. Can I ask you something?
Velameestra Windrunner says: Of course.
Uther Menethil says: I know this is not a new conversation between you and I, but Vel, in this, more than anything else, please… if you need help, come to me.
Velameestra Windrunner says: I will. Then, and now. But, as it turns out I’ll be… more reliant on certain things. We’ve fortunately already done extensive studies and… direct feeding is at least not needed, but I will still need to eat.

Uther looks perplexed for a moment, but the lightbulb almost seems to visually go off in his head.

Uther Menethil says: O-oh. Oh!
Remnii says: Oh what?
Uther Menethil says: You’ll need blood.

Remnii’s eyes cross for a moment.

Velameestra Windrunner says: ...yes. The sin’dorei don’t rely on the arcane. They feed directly on traces of life essence found in blood.
Uther Menethil says: Then you may have as much of mine as you need.
Remnii says: Within reason, please.

Remnii holds up a hand, referencing the sylvari in the Shadowlands that had been eager to drain Uther dry.

Velameestra Windrunner says: Yes, I’m not intending… yes. That’s part of the preparations I’m making. I have a spell at my disposal that will be able to aid in creating a… store, of sorts. I’m not going into this unprepared. But I am appreciative of the support. And Uther… thank you for understanding that I need to be for the sin’dorei what you have always been for me.
Uther Menethil says: We all know what we’re up against. And we all know how much it will take to withstand this onslaught.
Remnii says: It will be that and more by the end.
Velameestra Windrunner says: In unrelated news, I did try to contact Victor while I was in Northrend. The disturbance extends as far north as there, I couldn’t reach him. However…

Vel looks to Remnii.

Remnii says: Hm?
Velameestra Windrunner says: It was a complete block up north, but if you recall, while it wasn’t clear, we were able to reach Theocritus and Dawn. At least in some sense. They’re further south than Alterac, thus I could hope that it would be weaker still if we continue south. I may be able to get us back to the Eastern Kingdoms when it’s time. From Gadgetzan.

Remnii’s eyebrows raise.

Remnii says: That would be useful.
Velameestra Windrunner says: There are trollish catacombs in Zul’gurub on the southern edge of the Eastern Kingdoms. Ones I could teleport us to with a proper access point. If you have a spare moment, if you could potential confirm that hypothesis with commune or any divination magic at your disposal, it would be appreciated.

Remnii blinks.

Remnii says: I believe I can do that. Pardon me, it is nice to have someone who knows of priestly abilities!

She beams, and then starts to think.

Remnii says: I will consider other questions. Uther, Vel, if either of you have other questions, commune has been a gift in the last few days. By beseeching the Light we will hopefully know more on a number of levels.

The draenei nods.

Velameestra Windrunner says: Thank you. While we’re traveling, I will continue to try and reach Victor. I know that’s important to you, Uther.
Uther Menethil says: I can’t imagine what he’s going through.
Velameestra Windrunner says: And ideally it’s not a solid blank out.
Remnii says: If we can find a way around it, that would be far easier to coordinate efforts in the future between the varying people here and otherwise. Even if the war has not come to this soil again yet, it will. The Legion will find its way here in time.
Uther Menethil says: Not if I have anything to say about it. In order to get here, they’ll have to go through Lordaeron.

Remnii smiles sympathetically.

Remnii says: I hope that can be the case.

Vel then stands up again.

Velameestra Windrunner says: That is, for the most part, what I had to report. If there are any other questions or concerns, I imagine we can discuss them later. Remnii, I know you’ve been speaking with your vakas, and I would hate to infringe on that time further if that was what you were intending on doing before we leave.

Remnii smiles.

Remnii says: It has been long overdue. I will keep everyone posted. While I will tell him our going, I believe the trek to get there will be long between the hunt for Jarrod Shadowsong, and the tauren and their war with the centaur, plus Thrud’s request. I am not going to puff anyone up with hope, plus we are traversing an entire continent. It’s sizeable. But yet, I would like to get more time in. Thank you, Vel.
Velameestra Windrunner says: And thank you both.

Vel starts to let the dream fade, and the sky starts to darken, and the trees fade from the outside in as the mage turns away from the pair on the bench. Uther takes a moment to truly take in the dreamscape Vel had created before it fully dissipates.

Uther Menethil says: I love what you’ve done with the place. It suits you.

Vel offers him a small, melancholic smile over her shoulder before the dream fades entirely

Seria also dreams Rai to ask for an update, and he’s pretty sure he may be able to set up a meeting between Seria and War Druid Loti, but he needs time to coordinate that more so. Riff had also told him all about the Death Adders.

However, Rai asks Seria why she wants go to Zandalar, and she’s unsure, but it’s something she feels like she needs to do. In addition, Rai was able to confirm that there are other druids on Zandalar.

Evening May 22nd

The group meets on the outskirts of the city at the northern gate, which is dimly lit by the gas lamps. Kilnar, Telagos, and some of the Ati-Kaso are also there to see them off.

Aramar has spoken to Telagos about the Hidden, and he said he would look into it.

Tae’shara and Vel start the process of conjuring the phantom steeds, and Tae’shara, upon seeing Vel’s, is vaguely jealous.

Tae'shara Sunwatcher says: Wait. You can make them fancier?
Velameestra Windrunner says: You can make them however you want.
Tae'shara Sunwatcher says: Hold on. Let me try.

She tries different forms and manages a kind of derpy hawkstrider and an unnervingly beautiful horse. Uther and Elissa also summon Radiant and Daisy.

Kilnar Goldensword says: Good luck, everyone. It would not due to lose you all again.
Velameestra Windrunner says: You have a direct line of contact.

She gestures to her sending stone, and Kilnar smiles and nods.

Kilnar Goldensword says: If anything changes, I’ll let you know.

Remnii says goodbye to Gotri and they tell each other to be safe.

Gotri says: Give master Velen a hug for me.

He ruffles Remnii’s hair, and she laughs, fixing her hair. He then looks to Samaara.

Gotri says: Don’t fret. We’ll be safe. You are the ones going on a dangerous journey.
Samaara says: No promises, Gotri, I’ve become adept at fretting. But thank you.
Remnii says: Don’t worry, I won’t let her consume herself, she has to deal with me again.
Deremos says: Don’t worry about Livii. I’ll take care of her.

Remnii and Deremos hug.

Telagos says: Good luck everyone! If you need anything, I will be here for the foreseeable future! Good luck, and do be cautious on this journey! If your journey takes you to the Winterspring area, give me a hollar. I may be able to offer some assistance! I was born there. But no pressure. May the leylines guide your path. That’s not something we normally say, but I thought it would be fitting.
Aramar Thorne says: Thank you, Tellius. We’ll be alright.

He flips his unactivated sword.

Aramar Thorne says: And I’ll keep this safe.
Telagos says: Good, my boy! Your father would never forgive me if that fell into the wrong hands.

He pats Aramar on the shoulder, and the group mounts up and starts heading off into the desert. They hardly have an accurate map of where they are going, but Aramar is something of a cartographer, so he will be making a map as they go. It’s surprisingly chilly in comparison to the heat of the day, but they were fortunately able to prepare.

May 23rd - May 24th

The first evenings of travel are beautiful. On the night of the 24th, the desert starts to transition into a very different place.The sand dunes are replaced with a flat plain of salt, and the moonlight glitters on it. It’s almost haunting, as it resembles a tundra stretching as far as they can see in any direction.

Aramar approaches Uther.

Aramar Thorne says: Hey. Mind if I pick your brain for a second?
Uther Menethil says: Of course! What can I help with?
Aramar Thorne says: So. I don’t know if you saw this, but Telagos gave me this. Apparently my father used it. It’s called the diamond blade. I don’t really understand it, but…

He activates the blade.

Aramar Thorne says: I’ve been talking to Remnii, she’s been able to help. I’ve been able to use these weird powers I never used before, and I think it’s because of this. When we aren’t doing anything else, would you mind if I get some tips from you? You wield weapons and the Light together. So can I learn from you?
Uther Menethil says: Of course! Spars will do us good on this voyage.
Aramar Thorne says: Yeah. I’ve never been in a desert before. It’s something else.
Uther Menethil says: You know. Back home mountains seemed like the biggest things I would ever see except for maybe the ocean. But it just looks like it goes on forever, doesn’t it?
Aramar Thorne says: Yeah. It doesn’t, right? It definitely doesn’t. But it seems like it.

Uther looks up at the moons and gestures vaguely to the northeast.

Uther Menethil says: Certainly not. Somewhere over there is Lordaeron. And Lordaeron isn’t a desert. No matter how big things seem, nothing is forever.
Aramar Thorne says: Yeah. You know, that’s comforting in a weird way.
Uther Menethil says: It is, isn’t it?
Elissa Cross says: Hey! Daisy! Stop it!

As they look over, they see Elissa trying to coax her animal, as Daisy has stopped to lick salt off the ground. The half-elf is laughing between words.

Elissa Cross says: Daisy, stop it! It’s gonna make you more thirsty. Guys, can we take a break for a second?

They stop, and Tae’shara looks cautiously down at the salt, picks it up, then stares at it for a long moment before she licks it. She then starts coughing.

Tae'shara Sunwatcher says: Yeah. That’s salt. Really strong salt. I wouldn’t recommend it.

She grabs her waterskin.

As Tol’vas looks up, and he notes the Pale Lady is waxing. There’s probably about a week until it’s a full moon. Approximately the 28th will be a full moon.

As they travel on the second day, they note something glittering in the distance about six hours into their travels. It appears to be a small lake in the midst of the Shimmering Flats. As they approach the lake, they also see old structures. They are nothing significant, but there is a strange, old, wooden, wind-battered device that seems to be constructed into the salty sand next to the lake. The stone base is solid, but the high covering has been torn into. It looks like an old, ancient abandoned camp.

Tol’vas starts to investigate, and he notes the architecture seems to be Tauren. There seems to be an old, toppled totem that has been covered by sand and salt. He is on the lookout for anything that is hiding, and initially, he doesn’t see any sorts of threats. But the sand seems to have been disturbed, and the ground is broken in ways that seems to indicate something had moved in the area recently.

He brushes the salt aside, and he finds deep divots in the sand. While he isn’t an expert on sand, it looks like something pretty big, and some smaller things, were here, and it looks like they moved northward in a similar direction. One of the wooden structures seems to have claw marks. There are easily over a dozen sets of tracks.

Tol’vas returns to the group.

Tol'vas Moonshadow says: Well it looks like something is hiding nearby. There are multiple tracks. We should leave. Also the lake is saltwater. Not useful.

Samaara looks to Tol’vas.

Samaara says: If you show me these tracks, perhaps we can learn their direction and we can plot a different course. It would take us off-target, but if we want to avoid one of these creatures.
Tol'vas Moonshadow says: My concern is that they know how to live here. Following them may be more ideal, but I don’t know how far we should travel behind them.
Samaara says: What do the rest of you think?
Velameestra Windrunner says: Do we know what types of creatures live here?
Samaara says: I am uncertain as to what kinds of creatures can be found on this world, but I know in the deserts to the south there are large reptilian creatures with six legs called basilisks. I don’t know if that’s what we’re dealing with. I didn’t know they were capable of burrowing in the sand, but perhaps it could be something like that.
Tol'vas Moonshadow says: If you give me some time I can likely find out that answer.
Samaara says: We have time. If you have some magic that can help us, by all means.

Tol’vas kneels down in the salt and he closes his eyes and starts to meditate as he uses commune with nature. He focuses on the tracks, and he feels himself moving through the earth as if he was one of these creatures. He gets the sense of what they’re dealing with. A precise name doesn’t come to him, but he sees a long creature with six legs, a long tail, and a crocodilian-like maw. They seem to be an offshoot of basilisk, and the smaller creatures seem to be accompanied by a much older matriarch.

He is also able to tell there is no freshwater within 3 miles. But then he gets a small blip indicating a very, very small source of fresh drinking water right next to him.

And as he spreads out his senses for other indicators of fellow travels, he is able to sense that there are no other travelers within 3 miles.

The fresh drinking water seemed to come from the dilapidated wooden structure nearby, which upon investigation, it seems to be a well. Tol’vas relays that info.

Vel suggests that they try to veer around the basilisks, especially if there is a matriarch among them and these basilisks have the same petrification abilities, it would be a concern. Remnii agreed.

Aramar looks at his notes and points out there seems to be a goblin attraction called the Mirage Raceway not far to the east.

Remnii thinks for a moment.

Remnii says: If we need anything by way of supplies, that would be a reasonable place to go, but otherwise I don’t see much reason to go there.
Uther Menethil says: I wonder what they race there?

There are unanimous shrugs.

Makasa Flintwill says: If it is anything like the goblins elsewhere, I wager it is dangerous, and possibly explosive. Unless we are looking to make quick gold, I would suggest we avoid it. A goblin racetrack seems like a good place to lose money quickly. Or earn it, if you’re lucky.

Elissa’s eyes sparkle a bit.

Elissa Cross says: Wow. A racetrack. That would probably be pretty cool, but we should probably keep going, right?
Uther Menethil says: Well. I’m hardly a tracker. I’ll leave this decision to those more versed in the field.

Tol’vas, Samaara, and Seria start to plot a course to the northwest, and they notice something interesting. Some of the patterns spiral in and back and around, and it takes them a moment to realize what’s happening. It seems the creatures seem to be setting false tracks. In the northwest direction, they could see massive skeletons, which seems to be where the true tracks were leading.

The group skirts around the skeleton and continues northward. However, it may not be safe to camp. Thus, they continue for an additional hour. The temperature is now starting to rise, and they opt to bed down for the time being. Vel creates a tiny hut that can encompass all of them.

As the group rests during the hottest part of the day, the watches come and go. On the last watch, Vel pokes her head out to keep an eye on the area, and she sees some shapes moving in the sand. There’s just a bit of movement on the opposite side of the dome.

Moving toward them, there seems to be the very edge of something large rustling the sand and moving directly toward them.

Velameestra Windrunner says: Uther, we might have company.
Uther Menethil says: Alright, we should wake the others.

They quickly wake the group, and there seems to be a lot of movement around them.

Makasa Flintwill says: What’s the plan? Are we going to try and make a break for it, or are we gonna try and scare them off?
Velameestra Windrunner says: Unfortunately it’ll take time to get the steeds summoned.
Uther Menethil says: I have an idea. Be prepared to back me up if this doesn’t work. Nahlen’do, do you know anything around this area that may be a deterrent for these creatures? Larger prey?
Tol'vas Moonshadow says: There’s always a bigger reptile.
Uther Menethil says: Alright. I can work with that.

Uther goes to move outside the dome.

Tol'vas Moonshadow says: Hold on, maybe I can summon something to draw them away?

Tol’vas uses summon beast to conjure a gazelle-like creature, and then sends it off. Two of the figures immediately pursue the creature, but as they watch, the sand breaks, and two of the large beasts leap from the sand, one redirecting the gazelle into the path of his fellow.

Velameestra Windrunner says: They’re strategizing.

At that moment, many other creatures rise from the sand, and several go under the dome and start to press against the tiny hut.

Velameestra Windrunner says: Shit.
Aramar Thorne says: That was a good idea, what some of us distract some, while the rest of you take care of the big one?
Velameestra Windrunner says: That’s the best idea we’ve got.

The party works on contending with the large creature while the rest of their companions start to run off on distraction duty. Then the dome starts to collapse.

Tol’vas casts spike growth, and spikes of rocks erupt from the sand outside the dome. He then places a bear totem in the midst of them. It releases an echoing roar, and everyone feels emboldened.

Elissa turns back to the group as she starts to run.

Elissa Cross says: Maybe this will help!

She casts bless on the group before running.

Seria casts thorns, and then turns into a giant constrictor snake. The tiny hut shatters and collapses as Seria roils out to lunge at one of the dunalisks.

Uther uses his channel divinity in preparation for the emergence of the large matriarch that had burrowed beneath the former tiny hut. Vel follows suit after Uther, drawing her blade and triggering her bladesong as she starts to chant an incantation, readying slow in anticipation of the large creature’s appearance.

One of the smaller dunalisk jumps from the sand and exhales a superheated, arid breath at Remnii and several of the others. However, they are able to largely shake off the damage. Another dunalisk emerges right in the midst of the spike growth, and it hisses furiously, but attacks Seria.

But then the matriarch emerges right beneath Remnii as she staggers back. Spines burst from the sand, but Vel releases her spell. She pushes the spell, ensuring the spectral chains wrap around the matriarch and two of the smaller ones, slowing their movements.

It snaps its spines together but Tol’vas and Remnii are both able to dodge out of the way of the apparent trap. The creature’s entire body is covered in similar bony spikes, its tail ending in a clubbed tail.

One of the smaller dunalisks continues to rake at Seria with claws and fang, and she senses that there is some sort of venom in its fangs. She is able to shake off the bite, however, as the duo of dunalisks try to gang up on her.

Remnii uses guardian of faith, and a large spectral naaru appears along with the bear totem, a protector for those beneath its swirling form. One of the smaller dunalisks tries to chase after Remnii as she darts to the safety of the naaru, but as it does it gets blasted with holy energy. It hisses angrily, and snaps at Remnii, but she narrowly evades.

One of the slowed smaller dunalisks manages to break free of the spell with a triumphant hiss.

The group then hears a screeching sound from up above, and a massive creature with huge spiraling horns and large wings comes soaring down. It has the face of a saber-toothed tiger with a scar over one of its eyes. Its scorpion-like tail lashes forward, and it engages with one of the smaller dunalisks--wrestling it to the ground. They struggle for a moment, rolling around on the ground, but then the creature spreads its wings and takes off with the dunalisk.

Remnii’s cheek is splashed with blood.

Rem: ...oh. Oh dear.

She summons a spiritual weapon, which she tries to bash into one of the dunalisks. It connects with the creature’s skull.

Tol’vas uses conjure fey, and as he does he reaches his hands out to the rocks he had summoned with spike growth. As his concentration wavers on the prior spell, the rocks weave and coalesce into the form of a massive moth with an easily 12 foot wingspan. There seems to be a degree of sentience in its eyes, and with an intrinsic understanding, it looks at Tol’vas.

Tol'vas Moonshadow says: If you could help us with the matriarch here.
Fey Moth says [sylvan]: As you wish.

The moth almost seems to nod before it takes off further into the air. Tol’vas then moves away, evading a strike by one of the dunalisks.

The dunalisks that are on Seria continue to beat into her. This time, one of the bites connects and is able to pump venom into her veins, causing her to become sluggish and slow. The dunalisk tries to grapple her, continuing to rake at her snake body with its claws.

Another of the dunalisks exhales its arid breath on the party.

The matriarch cranes its neck at Remnii and snaps at her, but once more, the priestess is able to dodge out of the way.

Meanwhile, Seria is still wrestling with the dunalisks that are on her. Her body starts to seize up as she becomes paralyzed. The continued attacks blow her out of her form, and they converge on her now much smaller form.

The moth Tol’vas summoned beats its wings and sparkles appear across the sky. The sound of cicadas fill the air, and they immediately converge on two of the dunalisks. One of the other dunalisks strikes at the moth as it leaves.

Vel flips her sword around hold out a hand, and a blast of whirling, freezing air and ice surges through the locusts and hits the dunalisks inside as she uses cone of cold.

Uther follows up on the matriarch with a smite. The matriarch screeches in pain, not quite ready to retreat, but looking like it may keep that in its mind as a possibility.